Nov 21, 2014

The un-phonetic alphabet

Karl Fogel started this on the whiteboard in building 43 at Google in early 2006. The goal was to come up with an alphabet that, when used to spell out words, made it near impossible for the listener to puzzle out the word being spelled. Most people didn't quite get the spirit of the alphabet, so on the night of the Google Dance, Karl, Ian Hickson, a few others, and myself completed the alphabet.

A few of the letters could be improved on, but it's pretty darned confusing--try to spell out a word using it. :-)

A as in Are
B as in Blank

C as in Chute
D as in Django
E as in Ewe
F as in Four
G as in Genes
H as in Hour
I as in Iago
J as in Jeans
K as in Knot
L as in Listen
M as in Mnemonic
N as in No
O as in Our
P as in Phonetic

Q as in Qatar
R as in Repeat
S as in Sea
T as in Tsetse Fly
U as in Underscore
V as in Vowel
W as in Why
X as in Xenophobic
Y as in You
Z as in Zero

3 comments:

Andrew Paullin said...

that's awesome... thanks Fitz!

Adrian Ogden said...

I tried compiling a similar list once. Included A for Aisle, Q for Quay, and P for Pseudonym. Or possibly Pneumatic.

Konrad said...

Tim Minchin used a similar trick with alphabet in School Song for the Matilda musical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHEBTRN1Oao